North West’s stock market value hits record £47bn

The stock market value of listed companies in England’s North West rose £7.2 billion to a record high of £47 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to Deloitte.

Findings from the business advisory firm’s latest North West Share Index show the total market value of the region’s businesses listed on the FTSE, FTSE Small-Cap and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) increased by 18%.

“This is the first time the value of North West listed firms has exceeded £46bn, and sees the region rebound after a challenging end to 2018,” said Deloitte.

“Of the 65 listed companies in the region, 43 saw their values rise – this compares with only nine businesses achieving growth in Q4 2018.

“The exceptional performance of North West companies has meant the region has outperformed the national average by more than double, with the FTSE All-Share recording growth of 8.25 per cent.”

The North West’s two newest listings – investment services firm AJ Bell and law firm DWF – added £331 million and £364 million of market capitalization respectively.

“AJ Bell has had an impressive first few months on the stock market, adding 46.5 per cent to its market capitalisation since admission on 7th December last year,” said Deloitte.

“Retail businesses also fought back after a tough Christmas period, with 24 per cent growth over the quarter, taking the total value of the 12 companies in the North West to over £20bn.

“Most notably, Footasylum saw its market capitalisation increase 217 per cent, driven by its £90m sale to JD Sports in March.

“JD Sports’ value now stands at just under £4.9bn, having increased by 44 per cent in Q1 2019, making it the second largest listed firm in the North West behind United Utilities.”

Andy Westbrook, practice senior partner for Deloitte in the North West, said: “The North West has shown great resilience to challenging market conditions and rebounded from a particularly disappointing end to 2018.

“The underlying strength of the region’s economy is best highlighted by the sheer number of companies that have grown over the last quarter, which has helped push the total value over the £47bn mark for the first time.

“As we approach the halfway point of the year, it will be interesting to see how the developments in Westminster will impact the wider economy, as well as the North West.

“We hope that businesses continue to operate as normal despite the ongoing uncertainty, and perform to a standard we’ve seen at the start of the year.”